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Donnie Nietes expected to make ring return on December 11

Photo by Jhay Oh Otamias
22
Oct

Donnie Nietes, fresh off signing a promotional deal with the newly formed company Probellum, is likely to return to the ring on December 11.

Probellum President Richard Schaefer tells The Ring that the company is “putting the final touches on everything” and that an announcement for the four division champion’s next fight is coming soon. His first fight under the company is likely to be against tune-up level opposition, but the plan is to match the 39-year-old Filipino technician against the best fighters in the junior bantamweight division.

“He wants big fights, he’s a big time fighter, he’s a legend, not just in the Philippines but worldwide. His record speaks for himself and if we can help him to get one of those mega fights then we are certainly going to use all of our influence to get that done,” said Schaefer.

Nietes (43-1-5, 23 knockouts) has won world titles at 105, 108, 112 and 115 pounds, but has fought just once in nearly three years, defeating Pablo Carrillo by unanimous decision this past April in Dubai. Nietes had been rated on The Ring’s pound for pound list, but his career lost momentum shortly after he defeated Kazuto Ioka for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title on New Year’s Eve of 2018. Nietes opted to vacate the belt instead of making a mandatory defense against Aston Palicte, against whom he’d drawn against in the fight prior. Then, in August of 2020, Nietes’ career-long promoter ALA Promotions ended their operations after 35 years.

Nietes has been in the gym in Cebu City, Philippines with long-time trainers Edmund and Edito Villamor, sparring against bantamweight contender Jeo Santisima. Edito Villamor says he’d like to see Nietes in against the biggest names at 115 pounds, including Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Juan Francisco Estrada and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Schaefer says those names are high on the list of fighters that he’d like to match Nietes against. Schaefer cites his work with another Filipino legend, Nonito Donaire Jr., whom he led back to prominence after losing to Jessie Magdaleno in 2016, as evidence that he can do the same for Nietes.

“Those are exactly the kind of fights that we would like to do for him because I think he has earned those fights more so than anyone,” said Schaefer. “I think I have showed over my 20 years in boxing that I like to put together big events and those are the kinds of fights that I like to put Donnie in.

“We want that last chapter of [Nietes’] career to be the most significant one. That’s what motivates me, and most importantly, that’s what motivates Donnie.”

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